It seems like most girls out there planning a wedding are all looking for the same thing:
How to keep the cost down and have their perfect pinterest wedding.
Well here are a few tips and tricks to keep the price down and stay sane on the big day!
(the above slide show are just a few picture from my own wedding)
1. Get married where you have the most connections.
This one is more for the long distant lovers-
My husband and I met at college in Colorado.
He is from Iowa, I am from Alabama.
Since I was the one planning the wedding- we had it in Alabama.
I can't even explain how great it is to have your mom or maid of honor call you and say "Hey my friend owns this flower shop" or "Hey this lady I know can get you a stay in this condo for free the night of your wedding", "So and so want you to know you can get married on their property and rustic deco their barn for your perfect barn-yard wedding!" or "Your long-time makeup (or hair stylist) wants to do you wedding look free of charge as a wedding gift"
It's the little things that help! And that really start to add up!
2. Get married on a weekday!
Some of you are already saying "Well I'd never!"
Just think about it- trust me on this!
I grew up in a small destination town that has limited vendors, cake shops, venues etc..
and you have to call like a year in advance to book anything!
I got married on a Monday!
To me it was like getting married on a friday-
My guests had to miss like one day of work-
but the out of towners could use the weekend to travel!
None of my vendors were booked for a Monday-
and my venues I used were priced cheaper to rent out on the weekdays than the weekends!
Why? Nothing is really going on during their weekdays.
They are looking for something to do on a Monday night!
So they will give you great discounted prices
(Trust me on that one)
3. Think outside the box for venues!
My ceremony venue?
I wouldn't change it for the world!
Listen to this:
I got married under a huge tree, down by the bay on a southern night in May.
There were already beautiful stone, stadium seating and an awesome stone altar where me and my love exchanged our vows.
(translation: I didn't have to pay for seating or decorations!)
(if the sound of stone seating freaks you out- there is a picture in black and white on the above slide show of what it looked like, it was really beautiful and unique)
Wanna know where I got married??
A CHURCH CAMP!!!
They had a beautiful indoor and outdoor chapel to choose from-
they were nice as could be
(Seriously, good people)
The whole grounds were ours for the day!
A bridal suite to get ready in,
A beautiful outside chapel
A pier great for wedding pictures
And listen to this:
For all my out of town guest who RV'd their way to my wedding,
and my poor grooms men who got there hours early-
But only took like 10 mins to get ready.
The owners let them all canoe with a family of dolphins in the bay before the ceremony!
Talk about a wedding your guests will always remember!
The owners were there to help every step of the way...
Like seriously, It was AMAZING!
(You can even have your guest arrive to the site by boat)
so let's think Campgrounds, parks, piers, historic homes, church properties, friend's properties, backyard, train stations, libraries, museums, hunting grounds, barns, old theaters etc...
Come on- get creative.
For me, I've never been that
"Look at me, give me everything I want" girl.
I'm chill when it comes to that.
I'm all about having a good time, experiencing something new and having a lot of laughs!
And let me tell you:
honest to God, so many of my guest still tell me to this day that my wedding was the funniest wedding they ever went to
Let's take the food for example.
We went to vendors and venues whose starting prices per person per plate were $80!!!
$80?!! for one person?!! For a meal you could pay $20 for at red lobster??
Nah. Not for me.
I had a Crawfish boil!
fried chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, with all the great southern sides
(and a rockin pasta salad for my vegetarians, keep the veggie people in mind!)
I moved to Colorado, and Man! Did I miss southern food!
And everyone was pleased.
5.GO TO BRIDAL EXPOS AND ENTER IN EVERY CONTEST THEY HAVE!
Serious on this one.
You see a wedding contest, you enter in it.
Go to every bridal expo show within a 100 mile radius and enter in those giveaways!
My friend and his fiance just won an all paid for HONEYMOON, to the place of their choice!
They get to pick from Mexico, the Bahama, The Caribbean
Not too shabby right?
I had a friend win free photography from a photographer who charged about $1,000-$2,000 a wedding!
And these are just people I know!
Look online and on facebook and enter in those contests, and research those Bridal Expos!
I mean someones gonna win, right?
Might as well be you!
Okay, so me and my husband don't drink.
for me, been there, done that, got the t-shirt, not doing it.
It's just not something I need in my life.
And me and my husband are both in ministry, so we just don't.
(I mean who needs the extra calories anyway right?)
But my family does- so who am I to say you can't bring your own?
I mean, come on, If my parents are paying for most of the wedding and they want to bring some wine.
We're all adults here.
(especially my parents lol)
A lot venues charge around $3,000 for an open bar for a big wedding.
If I'm not drinking it, I'm probably not paying $3,000 for it right?
Oh calm down- people will still come to your wedding if you don't serve alcohol,
and they will still have an amazing time.
In Alabama the brewing laws are a little different, and it is legal to brew your own wines and bourbon and such
I know some people who make their own wines and things, who ended up bringing some to my wedding for all the people who maybe wanted a glass.
It was nice.
It was controlled- and no one threw up
(just check with your venue first to make sure it's okay)
(those glass bottles you do see in the pictures are vintage looking root beers, cokes, dr peppers.
We also toasted with glass bottles of coke)
7. Embrace the pinterest age!
Okay, let's admit it.
We are living in the greatest bridal era ever of all times!
THE PINTEREST AGE!!
If you can't diy it- you probably know someone who can!
Things that I made myself or someone else made for me for freeeeeee:
My wedding cake,
And my wedding cake toppers
(which was totally original and precious)
Here's a canvas I got 60% off at Hobby Lobby which my guest signed- and it hangs in my house now:
We all know someone ridiculously talented who'd be willing to help us out
(for free again)
Here are some examples:
If you go to church you probably know that one person who sings like an angel
Ask them to play and sing as you walk down the aisle!
(who knows- it might be their big break!)
Take a chance!
ask them to take pictures at your wedding as a gift!
(a lot of times, they would love to get some great wedding pictures for their portfolio)
Here are some examples from my best friends wedding:
(she had a family friend gift her free photography)
Ask her to help you out on the big day!
(My Bridesmaids looked fierce!)
Do not take advantage of people-
always offer to pay,
never pressure anyone!,
and don't ask people you hardly ever talk to give you free stuff for your wedding.
no no no.
(I've heard of weddings where at the end the happy couple sailed off into the sunset
and left a lot of their friends and guests feeling taken advantage of)
Okay I have a few here:
I bought my dress online at IGIGI-
BUT! IGIGI is a brand- so other stores carry their dresses!
Find the dress you love and then go to your google search engine,
Type in the name of the style dress and the brand,
And look at all the different places selling your dress!
I found my wedding dress on clearance on another site for about $150!!!!
vvvvvv My dress below vvvvvvv
She did the traditional dress shopping with her mom
But besides bridal gowns,
she also asked to see the bridesmaids dresses that came in (or could be ordered in) white!
And she actually ended up choosing a bridesmaids dress as her wedding dress!
Did anyone know it was a bridesmaid dress?
Did she look amazing?!
Heck to the yes!!
Here's some pictures of her dress
(that only cost around $200)
(and check out those "something blue" shoes peeking out from underneath her dress, Perfection!)
Ask those brides who have been there and don't that-
ask people who have been married in your area before you!
They know the deals.
(always have a least one bridesmaid who has gotten married before-
they know what you are going through and they will help you out the most,
and whip the others into shape lol)
That's how I landed my perfect southern wedding reception venue-
My mom was just chatting it up with a friend about my wedding and the friend said
"Oh no! You need to check out blahblahblah place!"
Well my mom did, and fell in love!
Perfect for my laid back southern charm dream!
Told me about it- I loved it too!
We cancelled our original wedding venue and booked this place that charge about $20 an hour?
Not bad right?
We actually ended up saving probably $2,000 in reception booking fees, and seating rentals by making this switch!
So get advice and research every option you hear!
I really wanted a small wedding with non-awkward people who loved me and loved each other!
I invited around 70 in total.
Mostly family, and very close friends.
And guess what?
Everyone danced, everyone laughed, and everyone had a great time!
Listen to me- put down the 500 person wedding list and back away slowly-
don't invite your whole entire church.
(this isn't about scoring the most gifts)
This isn't about bragging that you had a million people you kind of knew come to your wedding.
This is about you and your husband-
Yall's families and the best day of your life!
(and believe me- if you invite 500 people you will never get to enjoy your wedding reception-
you'll take a million pictures with EVERYONEEE-
Have a million, awkward "I dont-really-know-you" conversations
And starve lol)
If your heart is set on the 1,000 people wedding- go ahead!
Just make sure it's something you really want!
Okay so the husband usually pays for the honeymoon-
And we thought long and hard about this.
My initial reaction was
"I WANT TO GO TO HOGWARTS IN ORLANDO!!!"
(yes. I am a nerd.)
But by the time we budgeted hotel, food, parking at the parks, tickets for the parks, shows etc...
we were already planning on packing our own lunches!
Who really wants to brown bag it on your honeymoon?
So we looked at cruises-
I originally wasn't found of the idea of close quarters and a ship breaking down at sea and the possibly of being stranded for days and having to relieve myself in a ziplock baggie...
But it wasn't like that at all!
It was like:
Pay for everything upfront once- food, where you are sleeping, entertainment, travel
and then not really worrying again about it for the rest of your trip!
(Nothing is funner than going for a swim and pillaging the 24 hour sushi bar at 2am!)
And we went to the bahamas!
Not too shabby at all!
We are already planning our next cruise-
Our honeymoon turned us into cruise folks lol
And for a 5 day honeymoon to the bahamas with fine dining every night, we paid....
About $600 total for two
(that's including the tips, and drinks we were charge at the end of the cruise)
(here's a slideshow of what we experienced on our cruise)
Yes. We did win couples karaoke.
Don't be that girl who needs the biggest cake, and the most expensive dress because you are trying to impress others!
You will end up over-spending and probably being real stressed out because instead of enjoying your wedding you are consumed with what everyone thinks.
Yes you will probably get married around the same time as a few of your friends.
I know I did!
Try like 6 of my friends getting married around the same time.
I even had a girl who was getting married after me, ask some of my guest really odd questions like
"How romantic where Joel's vows to Mh?"
And weird things like that.
Don't be that girl.
You don't have to be better- you just have to be you!
Well the end is near my friends-
the post is getting long enough!
Hope this gave you a few ideas and put you in a better mind-set about planning a wedding.
It'll be great.
And even if something does go wrong it will be...
goodbye for now all you precious ladies!
And if you have any questions-
Let me know!